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[dwel-ing] /ˈdwɛl ɪŋ/
a building or place of shelter to live in; place of residence; abode; home.
Origin of dwelling
1250-1300; Middle English; see dwell, -ing1
Related forms
multidwelling, noun, adjective
See house. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for dwellings
Contemporary Examples
  • There are four dwellings to choose from and more than a half dozen other structures in which to swing a cat.

Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for dwellings


(formal, literary) a place of residence
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dwellings



"place of residence," mid-14c., verbal noun from dwell (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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dwellings in the Bible

The materials used in buildings were commonly bricks, sometimes also stones (Lev. 14:40, 42), which were held together by cement (Jer. 43:9) or bitumen (Gen. 11:3). The exterior was usually whitewashed (Lev. 14:41; Ezek. 13:10; Matt. 23:27). The beams were of sycamore (Isa. 9:10), or olive-wood, or cedar (1 Kings 7:2; Isa. 9:10). The form of Eastern dwellings differed in many respects from that of dwellings in Western lands. The larger houses were built in a quadrangle enclosing a court-yard (Luke 5:19; 2 Sam. 17:18; Neh. 8:16) surrounded by galleries, which formed the guest-chamber or reception-room for visitors. The flat roof, surrounded by a low parapet, was used for many domestic and social purposes. It was reached by steps from the court. In connection with it (2 Kings 23:12) was an upper room, used as a private chamber (2 Sam 18:33; Dan. 6:11), also as a bedroom (2 Kings 23:12), a sleeping apartment for guests (2 Kings 4:10), and as a sick-chamber (1 Kings 17:19). The doors, sometimes of stone, swung on morticed pivots, and were generally fastened by wooden bolts. The houses of the more wealthy had a doorkeeper or a female porter (John 18:16; Acts 12:13). The windows generally opened into the courtyard, and were closed by a lattice (Judg. 5:28). The interior rooms were set apart for the female portion of the household. The furniture of the room (2 Kings 4:10) consisted of a couch furnished with pillows (Amos 6:4; Ezek. 13:20); and besides this, chairs, a table and lanterns or lamp-stands (2 Kings 4:10).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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